Latest Blog Posts

<p>Tahar Rahim and Lea Seydoux in Rebecca Zlotowski's &quot;Grand Central.&quot;</p>

Tahar Rahim and Lea Seydoux in Rebecca Zlotowski's "Grand Central."

Cannes Review: Tahar Rahim is radioactive in impressive 'Grand Central'

Love and radiation in a nuclear world

CANNES - After making her feature film debut with 2010's "Belle Epine," director Rebecca Zlotowski returns to Cannes with the compelling new drama "Grand Central."  While Zlotowski benefits from the presence of a number of critically acclaimed French actors this is the sort sophomore jump that will cement her status as one to watch within the global filmmaking community.

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<p>&quot;Star Trek IV:&nbsp;The&nbsp;Voyage Home&quot;&nbsp;held the franchise record for Oscar nominations alone until J.J. Abrams came calling.</p>

"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" held the franchise record for Oscar nominations alone until J.J. Abrams came calling.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Star Trek' at the Oscars

How has the franchise fared at the Academy Awards over the decades?

J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness" has arrived. From here the film goes out into the unforgiving summer and we'll just have to see where it stands fiscally on the other side of things. But I imagine at the very least its various craft achievements will be in the awards discussion at the end of the year.

So with that in mind, how has a franchise that spans 12 films over 34 years fared at the Academy Awards all this time? It seemed like something worth digging into for our purposes here and with the new film on screens, so let's take a look…

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<p>Benicio Del Toro in &quot;Jimmy P.&quot;</p>

Benicio Del Toro in "Jimmy P."

Credit: Worldview Entertainment

Cannes Review: Benicio Del Toro clears his head (but not much else) in dreary 'Jimmy P'

Competition's first outright dud is a major letdown from Arnaud Desplechin

CANNES - Something's ailing Benicio Del Toro's title character in "Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian)," but let's lay that to one side for now. More pressingly, what is up with Arnaud Desplechin? The French writer-director is typically one of his country's liveliest talents, with big, crowded, unapologetically chaotic films like "A Christmas Tale" and "Kings and Queen" bristling with emotional and intellectual curiosity -- but he's come a cropper in this lethargic, self-important psychiatry study, which he himself seems to have directed from the couch.

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<p>The &quot;Nikita&quot; finale</p>

The "Nikita" finale

Credit: The CW

The 'Nikita' Season 3 finale sets the endgame in motion - How did it do?

Would Nikita kill the President or not?
Roughly once per season I like to check in on The CW's "Nikita."
 
It's a show I continue to watch largely because it's on on Fridays where I don't have any DVR conflicts, which isn't really a very good excuse for watching things unless you're a TV critic and a completist. And it's one of many CW shows that Sepinwall doesn't watch, so I like to keep vaguely in the loop, just in case it's urgent that somebody at HitFix know what's happening on "Nikita." It hasn't happened yet, but I keep waiting.
 
The third "Nikita" season wrapped up on Friday (May 17) with an episode I've already seen fans calling "shocking," but which left me really cold. I'd be contemplating dropping the show from my viewing roster, except that The CW has announced that "Nikita" has only a six-episode final season coming up at a TBD point next fall. I can stick it out for six more episodes, even if nothing about where the show is going seems especially interesting to me.
 
Click through for my thoughts on the finale and the season and then, assuming y'all have thoughts, you can chime in. If not? I'll know why I only write about "Nikita" once a year.
 
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<p>Demi Lovato</p>

Demi Lovato

Credit: Dan Steinberg/AP

Vampire Weekend, George Strait, and Demi Lovato battle for No. 1 on Billboard 200

Who is in the lead?

Vampire Weekend, George Strait and Demi Lovato walk into a bar... wait a minute, that’s not right. Actually the three artists are in a tight race to debut at No. 1  on the Billboard Hot 100 next week.

Going into the weekend, it looks like Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” has the edge and is poised to sell up to 135,000 copies. The other two titles are both going to top the 100,000 mark as well. George Strait’s “Love Is Everything” will move up to 120,000 copies for No. 2, while Demi Lovato’s “Demi” is looking good for 115,000 units, which will land her at No. 3.

Unless Amy Grant’s latest sneaks in, that looks like it for debuts next week. Dropping 2-4 will be “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack. Though it moves downward, it is still targeted to sell up to 95,000, according to Hits Daily Double. This week’s No. 1, Lady Antebellum’s “Golden,” will likely drop to No. 5 with sales of 65,000.

“Now That’s What I Call Music 46” will be at No 6. Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” and Michael Buble’s “To Be Loved” are in a dead heat for the No. 7 spot, with each looking strong to sell up to 45,000 copies.

The chart ends on a country note with Pistol Annie’s “Annie Up” at No. 9 and Kenny Chesney’s “Life On A Rock” at No. 10.

The chart closes Sunday night.




 

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<p>One of the tamer scenes from &quot;Stranger by the Lake.&quot;</p>

One of the tamer scenes from "Stranger by the Lake."

Credit: Les Films du Losange

Cannes Review: 'Stranger by the Lake' is a stylish new entry in the porn-noir genre

Un Certain Regard entry sets pulses racing with surfeit of steamy gay action

CANNES - Nothing I've seen at Cannes so far -- not even the current Palme d'Or favorite, Hirokazu Kore-eda's button-cute parenthood drama "Like Father, Like Son" -- has, to my ear, pushed the end-credits clap-o-meter quite as far into the red as Alain Guiraudie's Un Certain Regard entry "Stranger by the Lake." Elated whoops and whistles greeted this minimalist French thriller's final fade to black: not the reaction you'd usually expect from a civilian festival crowd for a work of such sleek, stark nihilism as to prompt visions of Robert Bresson adapting Patricia Highsmith. All of which leads me to at least one conclusion: audiences out there are really starved for gay sex.

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"All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"

 "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"

Credit: NBC

'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' finalist Penn Jillette talks Trump, honesty

The magician just might beat the 'pretend game about pretend business'

I suspected Penn Jillette was going to make the finals of "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice." No, I'm definitely not psychic. I'm not deeply in tune with the production, or worse, Donald Trump. But I had a feeling before the show even began that the magician who makes up half of Penn & Teller might go a little further on the franchise this time around. 

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<p>Carey Mulligan cheeses for press at this year's Cannes Film&nbsp;Festival.</p>

Carey Mulligan cheeses for press at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo

Thomas Vinterberg to adapt 'Far from the Madding Crowd' with Carey Mulligan

Matthias Schoenaerts will also star in the Fox Searchlight co-production

A year ago at Cannes, Dogme 95 co-founding filmmaking Thomas Vinterberg was stirring up talk with his film "The Hunt." It went on to win an acting award for Mads Mikkelsen, currently creeping out television audiences in NBC's "Hannibal." Drew was a fan of the film, noting that it "infuriates in all the right ways." This year's fest brings news for Vinterberg's next.

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Listen to two new songs from The Weeknd: 'Kiss Land' and 'John Carpenter'

Listen to two new songs from The Weeknd: 'Kiss Land' and 'John Carpenter'

R&B singer ain't nothin' to relate to

The Weeknd has always been a little dark. He's always been bold with his sexual exploits. But on one of his two new songs, "John Carpenter," he opens up about a different corner of his life.

"I got a brand-new place, I think I seen it twice all year/ I can't remember how it looks inside, so you can picture how my life's been/ I went from staring at the same four walls for 21 years/ To seeing the whole world in just 12 months / been gone for so long I might've just found God," he lament-excites. "I don't got no friends... this ain't nothing to relate to."

He still talks, literally, about how many women he can "f*ck" on the road, what ladies do with their tongues when they're around him, but it's a similar mold that got people in a tizzy over Drake: emotional coldness and boldness. The intense beat is met with noisy ghosts that trail off into Weeknd's monotone condition. It's weird, but at least it's new.

Sharing the same YouTube airspace (at the beginning) is "Kiss Land," which is apparently the title track to the R&B singer and producer's next album, due out later this year. It's much more on par with his usual sounds and tirade, like a lot of neon and a lot of blackness as he traipses through lines like "Go 'head girl strip it down, shut your mouth / I just wanna hear your body talk." No wonder there's a scream from the top. It's a track with lots of grring distortion and exhalation from his quivering, high voice. And it's too bad it didn't show up in time for the film "Spring Breakers," because they're serious soul mates.

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Lots of stereotypes in new fall shows


Lots of stereotypes in new fall shows
About 77% of the new shows have white lead characters, or character and many of the new entries have minorities playing white characters' sidekicks.


Kelly Rowland is close to becoming 1 of 3 female "X Factor" judges

The former "Destiny's Child" star, a veteran of "The X Factor" UK, is close to a deal to join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato.


Larry David has long hair and a beard in new HBO film with Jon Hamm

Check out the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star like you've never seen him before.


America Ferrera may return to ABC in a limited "Romeo and Juliet"-inspired series

The former "Ugly Betty" star is eyeing "Pedro & Maria."


"Scandal" has the intensity of "24"
Both shows, says Matt Zoller Seitz, have a lot in common: "a mix of soap opera melodrama, airport thriller-style conspiracy plots, and unrelenting pressure, all woven together via plot-counterplot storytelling that makes sections of each season feel like self-contained pulp novels that happen to feature recurring characters. The damned thing moves on fast-forward. Nobody ever relaxes on 'Scandal.'" PLUS: "Scandal" finally got the D.C. media right.


"The Vampire Diaries" finale, explained

Will Paul Wesley get double the screentime next season?


Will Kanye West do anything outrageous on "SNL"?
Something just might happen after his on-stage anti-"SNL" rant. PLUS: A directory of all of Stefon's clubs, and meet "SNL's" costume designer.


"Psych" to remake a past episode
Viewers will get to decide which episode to remake in Season 8.


Watch more "Office" farewells
From the rest of the cast, as directed by John Krasinski.


Here's your 1st look at "Luther" Season 3

Idris Elba will reprise his role this summer on BBC.


"The Big Bang Theory" season finale: Behind the scenes
Filming took more than four hours. PLUS: Simon Helberg is a "Real Housewives" fan.


Lisa Ling: I named my daughter Jett after Joan Jett
Daughter Jett was also named after Jet Li.


Comedy Central to go dark to promote the launch of Comedy Central radio
After midnight Sunday, you'll hear the audio of the SiriusXM channel on the cable channel.


"Friday Night Lights'" Aimee Teegarden looks uncrecognizable in reunion with Scott Porter
Teegarden, the star of CW's midseason drama "Star-Crossed," is now a brunette.

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EXCLUSIVE: John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. jam at R&R Hall of Fame
Credit: HBO

EXCLUSIVE: John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. jam at R&R Hall of Fame

They let their fingers do the talking

The 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, which airs May 18 on HBO, includes some blazing performance. One of the hottest is John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr.’s smoking take on Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.”

Mayer inducted the late King and then came back to join Clark on a soulful, funky rendition on the classic. Mayer keeps his mouth shut in this exclusive clip provided to Hitfix and wisely lets his guitar talk. Not that he and Clark can’t stop smiling at each other as they did deep on the track.

The R&R Hall of Fame ceremony was taped April 18 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
 In addition to King, the other inductees are Heart, Rush, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Lou Adler and Quincy Jones.   A 24-hour marathon will start immediately on HBO Signature.

Yesterday, we exclusively debuted part of Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins’ hilarious induction speech for Rush. You can see that here.

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<p>Kristin Scott Thomas' performance in &quot;Only God Forgives&quot; may be an internet meme waiting to happen.</p>

Kristin Scott Thomas' performance in "Only God Forgives" may be an internet meme waiting to happen.

Credit: RADiUS-TWC

Weinstein Company touts 'Grace' and 'Mandela' but Kristin Scott Thomas steals the show

Harvey holds court with Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara

CANNES - Harvey Weinstein took center stage Friday evening as The Weinstein Company held what has become a semi-annual preview of the rest of their yearly slate for select members of the domestic and international press corps at Cannes. In the past Weinstein has used this event to tease expected players such as "Nine" and "My Week with Marilyn." Last year, however, the event created a tremendous amount of buzz after a surprise 10-minute-plus first look at "Django Unchained" as well as sneaks of Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook."

This time around, "Grace of Monaco," featuring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly, "August: Osage County," starring Meryl Streep and an all-star cast and "Mandela: A Long Road to Freedom," starring Idris Elba as the legendary South African civil rights leader, were the more anticipated sneaks. And yet it was "Only God Forgives" star Kristin Scott Thomas who unexpectedly stole the show. More on that later. First let's get to the awards season players.

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