Latest Blog Posts

<p>There's so much cool in this room that air conditioning was redundant.</p>

There's so much cool in this room that air conditioning was redundant.

Credit: HitFix

Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba discuss the human side of 'Pacific Rim'

It's not all just monsters and mayhem

One of the things that surprised me after I took my sons to see "Pacific Rim" is how certain details landed for them.

For example, there's a moment in the film where Charlie Hunnam's character, Raleigh, is trying to make a point to Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), and he grabs his arm. Elba turns around, surprised that anyone would consider grabbing his arm a good idea, and says something to Hunnam. The line he says has become a permanent part of Allen's vocabulary, and it was an immediate thing. He cackled in the theater, and I've heard him quote the line about twenty times now in different situations.

When I asked him why the line entertained him so much, he told me, "Because, daddy, he's awesome."

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<p>Ciara's &quot;Ciara&quot;</p>

Ciara's "Ciara"

Credit: Epic

Review: Ciara's new album 'Ciara'

Is 'I'm Out' and 'Body Party' the best the singer can offer?

Watch Ciara’s videos, and you get some sort of sense who the singer is. Though she’s been making albums since 2004, the newly minted Epic artist has started becoming her own for diggable and stylish clips. She’s a ferociously adept dancer; her fashion and facial expressions say so much more than her words do. And on her self-titled effort, Ciara has a lot of words that don’t mean very much.

It was smartly indicative that “Ciara” kicks this off with biting and fun “I’m Out”: Nicki Minaj is in top form, the production and arrangement will set all your stuff on fire and dance around it and the core kiss-off is darkly celebratory. But Ciara doesn’t have first verse. She’s basically doing two versions of a hook, one of which sounds like the updated version of “Luck Be a Lady.” There’s a lot of flash-bang and you exit having only a hint of what the rest of the album is on, and what she’s about.
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HBO to air a documentary on gay marriage fight


HBO to air a documentary on gay marriage fight

Two filmmakers had behind-the-scenes access to the legal time fighting against California's Prop. 8.


Another job for Ryan Seacrest: NBC game show host

Seacrest is poised to host and produce "Million Second Quiz," a game show format that will air on 12 nights in September.


Wayne Brady returning to "HIMYM"

He'll recur in the final season as  Barney's brother.

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"Airplane Repo"

 "Airplane Repo"

Credit: Discovery

Watch: Swiping a plane gets dangerous on 'Airplane Repo'

Getting possession isn't always the hardest part

Being a repo professional is stressful, but being an airplane repo professional has to be far worse. Once a plane has been taken into possession, getting it back on the ground in one piece is by no means a given. Add to that the usual problems faced by repo pros (gun-toting owners and cops) and this is not a job for the weak. Watch these two clips from "Airplane Repo" (debuting Thurs. July 11 at 10:00 p.m.). In the first, one unlucky repo guy discovers the plane he's just climbed into is possibly more trouble than it's worth. In the second, repo pros talk about the troubles they've faced -- and arrests are by no means the worst.

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<p>Does the apocalypse of &quot;This is the End&quot; deserve some serious consideration?</p>

Does the apocalypse of "This is the End" deserve some serious consideration?

Credit: Sony Pictures

Taking stock of the Best Visual Effects race during the summer blockbuster season

How will films like 'Pacific Rim,' 'Iron Man 3' and 'The Great Gatsby' fare?

We're right in the middle of the blockbuster movie season. Some think it's been a lackluster summer slate. I haven't had major expectations for much of anything so I guess I'm okay with merely being satisfied so far, but with Guillermo del Toro's massive-scale "Pacific Rim" hitting theaters this coming weekend, it seems now would be a nice opportunity to look at the race for Best Visual Effects.

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<p>George Clooney at the BAFTA Awards earlier this year.</p>

George Clooney at the BAFTA Awards earlier this year.

Credit: AP Photo

George Clooney to receive BAFTA LA's Stanley Kubrick Award

The honor will be presented at the Britannia Awards ceremony on November 9

Between "Gravity" and his directorial effort "The Monuments Men," George Clooney -- who, lest we forget, shared the Best Picture Oscar for "Argo" a few months back -- has what may be another busy awards season lying ahead of him. Even if his on-paper prospects don't pan out, however, he'll be accepting at least one award before the year is out, as BAFTA's Los Angeles division has named him the recipient of their Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film.

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"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

 "The Real Housewives of Orange County"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Orange County': Did Tamra betray Gretchen?

Lauri spreads a rumor about Vicki's sex life and everyone joins the fight

It isn't often that I watch "The Real Housewives of Orange County" and think, hmm, that's a conundrum. Most of the time, it's pretty clear what the right decision would be for these women as they just do the exact opposite. Heard an ugly rumor? Blast it from the rooftops! Wish you hadn't invited someone to your party? Uninvite them or embarrass them publicly! Having an argument? Throw wine at the other person! Your kid doesn't want you to date the jerk you've been seeing? Do it anyway and whine about how much you sacrifice! Part of the fun, when and if there is fun, is watching these women run higgleldy-piggledy into the car wreck.

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<p>Harvey Weinstein on CBS This Morning. Also, nice touch on that chyron, guys.</p>

Harvey Weinstein on CBS This Morning. Also, nice touch on that chyron, guys.

Credit: CBS

Harvey Weinstein airs out dirty 'Butler' laundry on CBS

TWC honcho suggests the dispute is over rights to 'The Hobbit'

Hand it to Harvey Weinstein. He's using this whole controversy over the title of "The Butler" to drum up tons of publicity for the film, which hits theaters next month. But this circus is nevertheless ridiculous and I feel silly even writing about it.

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Naked 'Project Runway' billboard banned in L.A.


Naked "Project Runway" billboard banned in L.A.

A new ad campaign shows Heidi Klum in royal garb with Tim Gunn lording over nude models.


NBC will hand out free chairs made of cardboard at Comic-Con

It's a Comic-Con first, providing relief from standing in long lines.


Coming to Lifetime: "Catering Wars"
The Atlanta-based "Wars" show debuts next week.


"Californication" bringing back Rob Lowe

Eddie Nero will return for one episode next season.


Style Network signs deal with "Sh*t Girls Say" creators
Their Twitter account turned web series has become a YouTube sensation.


CBS puts Season 1 of "Unforgettable" online

The network hopes to catch up viewers ahead of the Season 2 premiere on July 28.


Aaron Sorkin introduces "The Newsroom's" new characters

From Marcia Gay Harden as a 1st ammendment lawyer to Constance Zimmer as a Mitt Romney campaign spokesperson.


Fred Armisen starring in a Queens of the Stone Age infomercial

Watch him promote a Queens of the Stone Age flash drive.


"Sharknado" will be preceded by 7 Syfy shark-themed movies

In all, Syfy will air eight shark-themed movies on Thursday.

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Album review: Skylar Grey's 'Don't Look Down'

Album review: Skylar Grey's 'Don't Look Down'

Can Eminem's protege break through on her own?

On  “Don’t Look Down,”  Skylar Grey’s extremely long-awaited Interscope debut, out today, the singer/songwriter has catchy beats aplenty and often has something poignant to say. The two don’t always intersect, but when they do, they are powerful.

Grey has been a fixture in the music industry for nearly 10 years, ever since she signed a publishing deal with Universal as a songwriter at 18. She released an album under her real name, Holly Brook, which tanked, and she has spent the last several years retrenching and working on her songwriting. She approached producer Alex Da Kid and the two wrote Eminem/Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” together. The pair also co-wrote Dr. Dre and Eminem’s “I Need a Doctor,” on which she is the featured artist. She floated a few singles two years ago that didn’t hit (and aren’t on the album) before focusing on “Don’t  Look Down,” which Eminem executive produced.

One thing that’s clear from the first track is you don’t want to make Grey see red. Her voice may be fairly tame, but her threats are not. On album opener, “Back From The Dead,” she tells of reuniting with an ex-lover, who skipped out on her. Against a rat-a-tat persistent beat provided by Blink-182’s Travis Barker, she objects to his return just when she seems to be getting her life back together. “I’m so confused, I don’t know what to feel/should I throw my arms around you or kill you for real,” she sings, and she sounds like she means it. Big Sean plays counterpoint as the lover trying to worm his way back in.

Those death threats become real on “Final Warning,” a tune that plays out like part 2 to  “Love The Way You Lie,” (she wrote it at the same time). The track opens with a steady synth beat with Grey’s voice recalling Dido’s sometimes flat delivery, but as the song progresses, it becomes clear that she will no longer put up with his abuse:   “Go into the kitchen, coming back with a knife because I’ve had enough this time...if someone’s going to get hurt, it’s not going to be me.” The sound of a domestic battle plays in the background until it ends with the gunshot. Does the fact that she’s the one pulling the trigger make it OK since it seems to be an act of self defense?

After this rather dark opening couplet, Grey runs through a gamut of experiences and styles: from dealing with an unexpected pregnancy on the aptly titled “Shit, Man!”  (with a rap from Angel Haze) to “White Suburban,” a jazzy, piano closer about her “first time” and the sadness she feels when her former paramour looks at her with indifferent “disregard.” She veers from playful to deadly serious thematically, from Alanis Morissette on “Pulse” (listen and see if it doesn’t remind you of “You Oughta Know”) to sounding like Sheryl Crow backed by a beat machine on “Religion.”

There’s much to like about the album, especially the thoughtfulness that went into some of the lyrics, and Grey’s voice, while fairly standard, has a certain charm. However, there are times when there’s such a disparity between the strength of the beats vs. the strength of the lyrics that miles separate them, no more so than on “C’mon Let Me Ride,” the first single that came out in December featuring Eminem. The beats are ridiculously infectious and even though the song is meant to be lightheaded, tongue-in-cheek and full of sexual innuendo, the lyrics are so inane: “I’m not like the sluts in this town/They make me blah in my mouth,” it’s hard to get through it without grimacing (the song peaked at No. 33). Other times, the beats dominate a track so much, such as on “Glow On the Dark,” that they overwhelm the uplifting message and her voice.

 “Don’t Look Down” sounds like Grey made the album she wanted to: one that shows her many different sides: lover, fighter, muse... but your appreciation for it will depend upon your tolerance for the often misplaced reliance on beats.
 

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<p>Demi&aacute;n Bichir and Diane Kruger in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Demián Bichir and Diane Kruger in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: FX's 'The Bridge' a gripping look at crime on the border

Cops Diane Kruger and Demián Bichir investigate a serial killer

Many elements of FX's new crime drama "The Bridge" (it debuts tomorrow night at 10) may seem familiar. One of its two main characters, El Paso homicide detective Sonya Cross (Diane Kruger) suffers (undiagnosed) from Asperger's syndrome, putting her into good, if socially clumsy, current company with the likes of Temperance Brennan on "Bones," Will Graham on "Hannibal" and both the Cumberbatch and Miller versions of Sherlock Holmes. It will spend most of its first season dealing with the pursuit by Cross and Mexican cop Hector Ruiz (Demián Bichir) of a baroque serial killer, which invites immediate comparisons to "Dexter," "Hannibal," the current season of "The Killing" and virtually every other serial killer-obsessed cop show of the moment. And it is, like "The Killing," a remake of a popular Scandinavian series, "Bron," which was set on the border between Denmark and Sweden.

But what makes "The Bridge" special, and potentially great, is an attribute more often applied to real estate than TV drama: location, location, location.

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Watch Fred Armisen's infomercial for Queens of the Stone Age's new album flash drive

Watch Fred Armisen's infomercial for Queens of the Stone Age's new album flash drive

CDs? What are those for?

"Remember the compact disc?" Myself and HitFix cohort Liana Maeby only barely do, so that's why you may want to jump on the USB bandwagon. Or at least that's what Fred Armisen's latest character Ricky Chism is trying to get you to do.

Queens of the Stone Age are putting their new album "... Like Clockwork" on a special USB Flash Drive that contains extra goodies like all of the music videos, lyrics and hi-rez photos, plus there's the rest of that 8 gig to spare (and it doubles as a bottle opener). Ricky's infomercial gets the benefit of uplifting stock rock in the mean time. The band gets its own awkward moment. Hi Josh.

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