Latest Blog Posts

Kanye West goes on an epic anti-Jimmy Kimmel Twitter rant

Kanye West goes on an epic anti-Jimmy Kimmel Twitter rant
Kanye is very upset over this skit from earlier this week, recreating his interview with the BBC with kids. Kimmel insists it's not a prank, and plans to address the rant on tonight's show.

Watch "The Simpsons'" opening inspired by "Homeland"
The "Homerland" episode features Kristen Wiig as an FBI agent.

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<p>In the &quot;Parks and Recreation&quot;&nbsp;premiere, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)&nbsp;finds herself in London.</p>

In the "Parks and Recreation" premiere, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) finds herself in London.

Credit: NBC

Season premiere review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'London'

Peter Serafinowicz and Henry Winkler guest star in one of the best 'Parks' episodes ever

A review of the "Parks and Recreation" season 6 premiere coming up just as soon as I build a scarecrow replica of you...

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Anne Rice

 Anne Rice

'The Blacklist''s Joe Carnahan set for CBS' take on Anne Rice's 'Angel Time'

Don't expect a family friendly take on angels

"Touched by an Angel" with a dark twist? Not exactly. The Anne Rice novel "Angel Time" has been snapped up by CBS as the basis for a new series with Joe Carnahan ("The A-Team," "The Blacklist" and Sarah Timberman ("Masters of Sex") signed on as executive producers. Carnahan will direct the pilot if it's ordered, while Liz Garcia and Joshua Harto ("Memphis Beat") wrote the script. Given the talent and the book involved, this isn't likely to be family-friendly viewing, even though Rice wrote the book during her ten-year return to the Catholic belief system of her youth (she renounced her faith again in 2010). 

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Pearl Jam's short film on 'Lightning Bolt' with Judd Apatow, Carrie Brownstein

Pearl Jam's short film on 'Lightning Bolt' with Judd Apatow, Carrie Brownstein

Seattle group talks with their famous friends about creating the new album

Get a glimpse of what went into creating Pearl Jam’s new album, “Lightning Bolt,” in this 9-minute short promo piece directed by famed photographer Danny Clinch.

The five band members—Eddie Vedder, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready and Jeff Ament—field questions from Clinch, director Judd Apatow, “Portlandia” star/musician Carrie Brownstein, surfer Mark Richards and paralyzed NFL safety Steve Gleason.

“If you’re paying attention to what’s going on on the planet, I feel like I can find something to be angry about pretty quick,” Vedder says, addressing the album’s sometimes confrontational tone (as exemplified in first single, “Mind Your Manners.” “Everyone’s kind of playing out of their minds on this record,” he says.

Ament talks about writing “Sirens,” current single (and, in my mind, one of the most beautiful songs ever written by Pearl Jam) and the reaction to hearing Vedder’s stirring lyrics. “He’s got a lot of words right now,” Gossard says.

Not surprisingly, avid surfer Vedder compares writing a song to surfing. “The wave is actually the sound, the words are the board. Surfing is pretty easy once you’re on the wave and so is songwriting, but you can spend a lot of days out there paddling around and not getting anything.”
In addition to “Mind Your Manners” and “Sirens,” fans can also hear snippets of four other songs from the album: “Lightning Bolt,” “Future Days” and “Getaway.” 

“Lightning Bolt,” the band's first album since 2009's "Backspacer,"  comes out Oct. 15.

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Was this new trailer for 'Frozen' really Disney's best option?

You'd never guess the quality behind the movie

Oh, no. You're scaring me Walt Disney Marketing. This trailer for 'Frozen' has problems galore. Let's hold off on why by first taking a quick movie marketing lesson about how this might have come to pass.

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'Glee' releases 1st look at Cory Monteith tribute

"Glee" releases 1st look at Cory Monteith tribute
Monteith's face is in black and white, with the caption: "The hardest word to say is 'goodbye.'"

"Bob Burgers" renewed
Fox has ordered Season 5 of the animated comedy.

"South Park" returns to big numbers

Last night's Season 17 premiere was its highest-rated episode in four years.

Martin Freeman joins FX's "Fargo"

The "Sherlock" and "The Office" vet will play the William H. Macy role in FX's limited series.

Discovery orders an Evel Knievel documentary
"True Evil" airing Oct. 14 will look at the motorcycle daredevil's rise to fame.

Caroline Manzo exiting "Real Housewives of New Jersey"
E! reports that Manzo won't be part of the Season 6 cast.

Patton Oswalt to surface on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

He'll play a fire marshal named Boone.

"Revenge" books Ana Ortiz
The "Devious Maids" star will play a PR specialist.

"Breaking Bad" meets "The Walking Dead"
It's "Breaking Dead."

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<p>Mick Jagger in &quot;Muscle Shoals&quot;</p>

Mick Jagger in "Muscle Shoals"

Movie Review: 'Muscle Shoals' doc makes the music come alive

Take a trip to a sleepy Alabama town and witness the magic

Never has a town so little been responsible for such a big sound. The story of Muscle Shoals, Ala., a rural burg whose name signifies a swampy R&B and southern rock sound, plays out in “Muscle Shoals,” a music documentary that opens Friday (27).

Among the artists who recorded legendary sides at FAME Studios and its rival, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, were Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynrd, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Otis Redding, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and The Allman Brothers. Many of them are on hand to talk about their experiences in Alabama, as well as such talking heads as Bono, Alicia Keys, Jimmy Cliff, and Steve Winwood.

The movie centers on Rick Hall, the conflicted, troubled founder of FAME Studios. He and his brother grew up “like animals” in abject poverty in Alabama (his little brother later dies after falling in a pot of scalding water and his mother, in her grief, abandons him and becomes a prostitute). “I wanted to be somebody,” he says. And he certainly succeeds. After an initial falling out with some business partners (the beginning of a pattern), and his new wife dying in a car accident, driven by vengeance and bitterness Hall launches FAME and wills it to succeed. Luckily, he has an ear for talent and before long, he and his artists are creating magic, whether it’s Percy Sledge, a former hospital orderly, recording “When A Man Loves A Woman” or Arthur Alexander with “You Better Move On.”

After FAME’s initial success, Atlantic Records co-founder/legendary producer Jerry Wexler decides to start recording at FAME, following a spat with Memphis’s Stax Studios. Perhaps unintentionally,  the film makes a good case for how many magical moments happened simply because feuding partners were too egotistical to apologize and the principals would rather haul up and move to another city or start another company rather than say “I’m sorry.” Wexler brings Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin to FAME. The footage of Franklin in the studio, as well as much of the other vintage footage from the ‘60s and ’70, helps make the movie. Watching her surrounded by some of the most amazing studio musicians ever collected— Spooner Oldham, Roger Hawkins, Dan Penn, Barry Beckett— as they rework “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)” is to witness a song being pulled out of the ether in all its majesty and glory.

But Hall and Wexler have a fight (are you sensing a theme yet?) and Wexler yanks Franklin back to New York and takes the fabled studio musicians with him as they record Franklin’s Atlantic debut, which also included a little song called “Respect.”

And so it goes as the film chronicles Hall and his battling of his demons as various tragedies, some of his own doing, come in and out of his life (the dude has Shakespearean-level bad luck), while it also portrays him and the studio musicians, all white, as trailblazers during the civil rights movement. They worked with black artists while segregation was in full force (studio scenes are juxtaposed against Gov. George Wallace vowing to keep black students out of schools) with no regard for anything other than talent. They were proud brothers in arms.

The movie does its best to cultivate an air of mythology about Muscle Shoals, including invoking Native American legend, as a way to explain how it became such a vaunted musical hotspot. Or as the imminently quotable Bono says, the music “seems to come out of the river; out of the mud.” Clarence Carter, who cut most of his hits at FAME, including “Patches,” simply says, “Every time someone came to Muscle Shoals, they came out with a hit record.” What doesn’t work so well is director Greg “Freddy” Camalier’s efforts to tie in Hellen Keller, who was from Alabama, and her ability to communicate, though deaf and dumb, with Muscle Shoals’ mysticism.

It seems inevitable that the studio musicians, collectively known as the Swampers, leave Hall to start their own studio, Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, taking with them some pretty choice talent. “It was war, total war,” Hall says. Through much of the ‘70s, MSSS captured the bigger names, plus Hall misses the mark on the Allman Brothers. “I just didn’t hear it,” he admits, leaving them to go to MSSS, where Lynyrd Skyrnd also recorded its legendary album. (Any fan of “Sweet Home Alabama” knows the line “Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers/And they’ve been known to pick a song or two”).

One of  MSSS’ biggest moments is when the Rolling Stones record “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar” there instead of cutting in France, as they normally did.  To see them in their youth, recording two now classics, alone make the movie worthwhile. Looking back, Keith Richards muses, “Those sessions are as vital to me as any I’ve ever done.”

The movie unspools as artists come and go and the studios’ fortunes rise and fall, with both of their heydays ending by the ‘80s.   The stories are the stuff of legend when it comes to fighting and feuding, but the real star is the music. A staggering amount of classic hits came out of those two studios, despite all the chaos, and the tale of two studios is told is such a way to draw any lover of music in.

Unlike some movie docs that focus only on one subject, "Muscle Shoals" covers such a wide array of music and artists that like "Twenty Feet From Stardom," it will appeal to anyone with a song in their heart or anyone who wants to root for the underdog. 

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With 'Gravity' on the horizon what are the greatest space movies of all-time?
Credit: Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, MGM

With 'Gravity' on the horizon what are the greatest space movies of all-time?

'Star Wars'? 'Alien'? '2001'? Which film tops our list?

With "Gravity" set to hit theaters next week, we decided to look back at some of our favorite space movies. When discussing it, we set the game up like this: in order to be on the list, the film needed to feature important and pivotal sequences set in space. Not on another planet, mind you, but in space.

There's always been something mysterious and beautiful about the notion of outer space, and it's easy to understand what drove us to look up into that vast expanse overhead and decide we had to go there. Even today, as we continue to learn more and more about what's out there, we still seem to have only taken baby steps into what I believe is our eventual destiny. We make so many movies set in space because it continues to gnaw at us. I feel like there is a race between us ruining this planet and us leaving it, and I pray we make the right choice.

We sifted through dozens of films that fit the basic description here, and then the HitFix staff voted on what they felt the ten best were. The results were, as always, surprising in some ways, totally expected in others. It seems like we have a lot of love for "2010" here at HitFix, for example, something I wouldn't have predicted, and the films that almost made the list are tons of fun, like "Galaxy Quest."

One common thread that runs through most of these films, aside from setting, is that they seem to celebrate the potential of space. Sure, it can be terrifying at times, but beyond that, space seems to speak to the best in us, and these ten films are all worth your time and attention, and are sure to set the stage for when you get to see the remarkable "Gravity" starting next Friday.

Check out our picks here:

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<p>Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo at Fantastic Fest</p>

Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo at Fantastic Fest

Credit: Arnold Wells

Want to hear new Metallica music? Get 'Through the Never' on home video

Band has plans to take film's epic, fantastical stage concept on tour

AUSTIN - Metallica fans will hear previously released material in the soundtrack to the band's new film "Metallica: Through the Never," but they'll also get to hear new metal material from the foursome should they pick up the movie when it comes out on home video.

Last night (Sept. 25) at Fantastic Fest in the Texas capitol, bassist Robert Trujillo, guitarist Kirk Hammett and the film's director Nimrod Antal took questions from the audience after screening the 3D flick, which combines a scripted feature-narrative with a concert documentary. Antal revealed that there are two additional cuts of the film, which will be available on the DVD/Blu-Ray and other formats of the release. He said one cut is just of the narrative portion to "Through the Never" -- which stars Dane DeHaan as a roadie for the band  -- and has "a completely original," "Goblin-esque" soundtrack made by Metallica and producer Greg Fidelman. The other version is just of the concert footage, with "three to four" bonus songs recorded during those live gigs in Vancouver and Edmonton.

Addtionally, Trujillo premiered his Metallica-centered short animated film "'Tallica Parking Lot" last night, which also featured new music from the metal pioneers. Its soundtrack had big, energetic beats as the animations panned through 2D and 3D views of the fans that pre-game at Metallica shows. The film was a collaboration with Titmouse Animation Studio and helped by animators like Mike Judge; characters from "South Park," "Beavis & Butthead," "Metalocalypse" and even the cartoon visages of rockers like Lemmy make cameos.

"'Tallica Parking Lot" and the three total versions of "Metallica: Through the Never" will be bundled together for home video, with release date TBA.

Judging from the technical aspects that went into the making "Through the Never," Antal and the band could've made even a few more films from their shoot. Concert footage for "Through the Never" was captured by 30 cameras at any one time Antal said, which was -- in his words -- "a f*cking nightmare." The stage was fraught with its own perils, and not just metal music wattage: some of the concert props to help tell the "Through the Never" story included Tesla coils, pyrotechnics, falling rocks, sparking light poles and jumbo video screens in the shape of coffins.

Performing was an "occupational hazard," Hammett said. "It's amazing we survived it." Death magnetic, indeed.

The band said they're planning on, at some point, taking that very epic stage concept on tour, though not mentioning when that would be. They're still catching up to the "now." Hammett said called the outcome of "Through the Never" and their collaboration with Antal as "unexpected." He said that he sees old songs like "Ride the Lightning" and "Creeping Death" in a new light, now that the tracks have been married to Antal's horror-apocalypse treatment.

"We would never have thought we'd be in this space three years ago," Hammett said.

"Metallica: Through the Never" heads to IMAX tomorrow (Sept. 27) and into additional theaters Oct. 4.

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<p>Keith Stanfield in &quot;Short Term 12.&quot;</p>

Keith Stanfield in "Short Term 12."

Credit: Cinedigm

Could 'Short Term 12' crack the Best Original Song race?

Brief rap track 'So You Know What It's Like' plays a crucial role in the indie drama

We say this on an almost annual basis, it seems, but the Best Original Song race is looking particularly lean this year -- so lean, in fact, that I can scarcely think of any possibilities, strong or otherwise, from the year's releases so far. (I know Lana Del Rey's "Young and Beautiful," from "The Great Gatsby," has a lot of advocates out there, but it seems the song won't be eligible.) But one interesting possibility, and one the film's publicists seem willing to push, comes from recent indie favorite "Short Term 12." 

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Credit: NBC

Wednesday ratings analysis - 'Revolution' is steady, 'X Factor' surprises

Who knew "SVU" still had this much juice?
[As I said yesterday, I'm going to start doing some additional ratings analysis a bit after the morning Fast National numbers come in each morning/afternoon. It's a way to get away from merely the regurgitation of data as quickly as possible at 8:30 a.m., though I'll still be doing that. I'll also be doing some Live+3 and Live+7 analysis this season as those numbers become available.]
There were winners and losers on Tuesday (September 24) night. "Lucky 7" is already on Deathwatch. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is already a hit (for at least one week). FOX's comedy block probably isn't in overall jeopardy, but it can't go on this low forever. And "NCIS" and "The Voice" remain the cocks of the ratings walk.
Fast Nationals for Wednesday, September 25 told a very different story. There are minor disappointments here and there, but mostly everybody came away from the Fast National numbers relatively happy. That's better for the industry, even if it isn't as sexy when it comes to analysis. 
Click through for my bulletpoints...
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Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"

 Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Grey's Anatomy' star Kevin McKidd talks Christina and Owen split

The actor says to expect things to get 'really tough and tragic'

When you meet Kevin McKidd, what's most startling (at least it is if you're a "Grey's Anatomy" fan) is the accent. Born in Scotland, McKidd's rich, rolling brogue sounds nothing like Owen, the lovelorn surgeon he plays on the show (which has a two-hour season premiere tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC). Though the actor has played many other characters memorably (fans will remember him from "Rome" and "Trainspotting"), after five seasons on the ABC show he's probably best known as Owen -- and that's just fine with him. During press tour I talked to McKidd about what's next for Owen and Christina (if anything after their split), if Owen will ever get out of denial about wanting to be a daddy, and whether or not he's really a frustrated rock star.


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