Latest Blog Posts

Shark Week opens to its biggest-ever audience, despite some outcry over the fake documentary

Shark Week opens to its biggest-ever audience, despite some outcry over the fake documentary
"Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives" even beat the NFL's Hall of Fame game on NBC. PLUS: How many were fooled by "Megalodon"?

CNN calls GOP's threats over Hillary Clinton doc a "disservice to voters"

The news network responded to RNC chair Rance Priebus: "Instead of making premature decisions about a project that is in the very early stages of development and months from completion, we would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more."

Denzel Washington to narrate PBS' "The March" on Washington documentary
The documentary marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic speech will air on Aug. 27.

How to save "The Killing": Stop making it about a killing
If the AMC drama does return for a 4th season, it needs to start thinking differently. PLUS: Mireille Enos on the season finale.

Aziz Ansari says he lost the password to his "Sergeant Brody" "Homeland" Twitter parody account
Ansari hasn't tweeted @sergeantbrody since he was outed as the mastermind of the parody account.

Patton Oswalt's "Parks and Rec" "Star Wars" filibuster gets animated, again
Here's a full-blown animation, three months after the original rant was animated by somebody else.

"The Writer's Room" visits "Parks and Rec"
Tonight's episode of the Sundance Channel series features Amy Poehler and her writers. PLUS: Nick Offerman goes bald for a movie.

"Teen Beach Movie" is the 2nd-most watched TV movie in cable history

About 13.5 million watched the Disney Channel film in its first week, putting it in 2nd place behind "High School Musical 2."

Michelle Kwan joins Fox Sports
The Olympic figure skater will cover the 2014 Winter Games.

Oprah poses on her magazine cover with a 3.5-pound afro wig

The new issue of O is devoted to hair.

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<p>Josh Gad, seen here at a special screening of 'Jobs,' which features him, will next tackle the role of Sam Kinison for 'Brother Sam'</p>

Josh Gad, seen here at a special screening of 'Jobs,' which features him, will next tackle the role of Sam Kinison for 'Brother Sam'

Credit: Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

Josh Gad is set to star in long-developing 'Brother Sam' Kinison biopic, but is he right for it?

Larry Charles seems like a best-case-scenario as director, though

I was lucky enough to see Sam Kinison work several times. It's one thing to see someone's comedy special on TV or to listen to an album by them, and I certainly absorbed his work in whatever way it was available, but seeing a comic live, especially over several different nights with a wide variety of audiences is essential if you really want to understand who they are as an artist.

I'm not surprised by talk of a Kinison biopic. It seems inevitable at some point, just like the Bill Hicks movie I'm sure we'll also get from someone at some point. What I learned watching Kinison work the same material over many different nights is that he had learned how to handle a crowd from fire-and-brimstone fundamentalist preachers, and when he was onstage in front of a crowd, he was testifying. The screaming he did around his jokes was not just noise, but was punctuation. He was so caught up in whatever his subject that he couldn't stop himself from letting loose these guttural sounds. It's his version of speaking in tongues, being overcome by the power, and Kinison was a master at reading a room. He knew when something was working, he knew when something wasn't, and he was adroit at modifying his act on the fly to ride out the energy of the audience.

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<p>Chris Pratt and Adam Brody teamed up for much of the final season of &quot;The O.C.&quot;</p>

Chris Pratt and Adam Brody teamed up for much of the final season of "The O.C."

Credit: FOX

'The O.C.,' 10 years later: J.J. Philbin looks back

The 'New Girl' writer was there for Taylor Townsend, Chris Pratt as Ché and much other silliness
By now, you’ve all surely taken large chunks of time today to read both parts of my interview with “The O.C.” creator Josh Schwartz, since tonight is the show’s 10th anniversary. If your appetite for Seth Cohen-related nostalgia hasn’t been sated by now, I also chatted that day with J.J. Philbin, who joined the writing staff midway through season 1 and stuck around all the way to the end, for all the marvelous silliness involving Ryan and Taylor Townsend, Chris Pratt as Ché, “Je Pense,” etc. Philbin’s now a writer on “New Girl,” but she was happy to walk down memory lane towards Newport Beach.
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Democrats are now the butt of most late-night jokes, a reversal from last year

Democrats are now the butt of most late-night jokes, a reversal from last year

President Obama was the biggest political targeting during the first part of this year, inspiring 288 jokes. Anthony Weiner was No. 2, at 120 jokes.

E! developing "Rich Kids of Beverly Hills"
The proposed reality show would follow the 20-something friends who started the Rich Kids Of Instagram Tumblr blog.

Kanye West will tie Madonna with his 7th VMAs performance
He'll perform "BLKKK SKKKN HEAD" at this year's VMAs.

Whitney Houston's daughter may join "Celebrity Big Brother"

Bobbi Kristina is rumored to be part the UK reality show's lineup when it premieres later this month.

"The Killing's" Season 3 finale up from last year
About 1.5 million tuned in last night for the two-part finale.

IFC sending "Comedy Bang Bang" on tour
The two-week tour will also feature Paul F. Tompkins.

Mumford & Sons hire impersonators: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Ed Helms, Will Forte
Watch the four impersonate the band for its "Hopeless Wanderer" music video.

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<p>From &quot;Speed&quot;</p>

From "Speed"

Triple Oscar winner David MacMillan on his 6 most memorable movie shoots

What is it like to work with Oliver Stone? Michael Douglas? Where does 'Speed' fit in?

POZNAN, Poland— Last night, I had the great good fortune to sit at a concert with three-time Oscar winning sound mixer David MacMillan at a concert here at the Transatlantyk Festival, a film and music festival put on by Oscar-winning composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.  Kaczmarek grew up in Poland and adopted Poznan as his hometown after attending college here. MacMillan, who won his gold statues for “The Right Stuff,” “Speed” and “Apollo 13," is here teaching a master class. His other credits include "Twilight," "The 40-Year Old Virgin," "Indiana Jones  & The Temple Of Doom," and  "Hairspray." At 71, MacMillan has just retired. His last film, “Paranoia,” starring Harrison Ford and Liam Hemsworth, opens Aug. 16.

I sat down with the affable MacMillan today to recount some of his more memorable moments in a career filled with them. We only hit the tip of the iceberg.

  “‘Natural Born Killers (1994) We shot for 18 days inside Interstate Prison [in Illinois]. Interstate has one of the last circular cellblocks. Cellblock B is the biggest single cellblock in the country with 1,500 on one side and 1,500 on the other. One of the scenes is an 8-minute walk-and-talk with the warden [played by] Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Sizemore. They go through the restaurant, the cafeteria, we’re using real prisoners as actors, and they then they walk into Cellblock B. Well, Cellblock B is so loud because all these guys have got radios and are yelling back and forth to each other and it’s all metal, so it’s very hard for radio mics to work within it. I said [to director Oliver Stone], ‘If you want to get a track here that you can use, you’re going to have to quiet the prisoners down.’ There’s three gangs in the prison system: the El Rukn, the black gang; there’s the Latin Kings, and there’s the White Aryan Nation.  [El Rukn’s] Big Load is the head guy. He has a cell on the bottom floor with two empty cells on either side so nobody can [come] around the corner at him. He’s got bodyguards the size of mountains who watch out for him. He’s 6’5” and weighs about 370. He’s a big, big guy. We went up to Big Load and said ‘Can you make it quiet in here?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, not a problem. Get me a bottle of Black Label and it’s yours.’ He basically runs the prison. We had to go to the warden. He said, ‘Yeah, get him the bottle.’ We had set the shot up. [Big Load’s] body guards shout at the top of their lungs: ‘Big Load wants you to shut the f**k up’ and the level comes down. Then, ‘Turn off your f**king radios and TVs,’ and they all turned off. I had set up on a little dolly because I couldn’t carry the radio mic the whole way. I had to be real close because there was so much metal around, it sucks up all the radio waves in a way, so soon as we got it quiet, we dolly all the way back 300 yards. We got our shot in one take and he got his Black Label." 

MOST INNOVATIVE SHOOT:   “‘Falling Down’ (1993). There’s a scene where Michael [Douglas] is running through MacArthur Park and some guy is hitting on him for money. They were redoing the park and there’s jackhammers, which they couldn’t control, so it was pretty impossible to do it and it meant that some of that scene had to be looped. I suggested to Joel [Shumacher] that we do it in a studio where Mike can be running. We put him in a studio with headphones and a receiver and I have a boom and I’m booming him like we would a normal shot. I had him running and getting the same energy going and so it gave him energy and it opened up the dialogue to what it would be like if you were recording the actual scene instead of sitting in a room with headphones on and looking at a screen and sitting with the microphone three inches from his face that has to be EQ’d and never really sounds right anyway. The body language also helps the actors. There’s a tension that builds and just the motion itself. Michael was great. He loved the idea.”

(1994). What happens on that bus, there’s a real driver on the roof of the bus. We have a popemobile, basically, the whole front of the bus is glass and there’s three or four cameras on there. There’s no place for me to go. I’m not going on the roof of the bus because I can’t get to the actors if I have to change their radio mics. So the only place for me to go— I’m sitting in the middle exit door with a little four-channel mixer, hiding, and I’m mixing four radio mics on the actors as the bus is moving. There’s a scene where Joe Morton tries to come up and take the bus driver off the bus and the wheels are banging up against the side of the doors that I’m on and it’s hard to keep your focus.  A lot of times I’ll take the microphones and put them right out in the open and make them look like part of a costume. With a SWAT team, that’s no problem with all. I was able to get good dialogue on the back of that bus with an open truck. Keanu [Reeves], I had to put it in the seam of his t-shirt and he was never really in the wind. With Sandra [Bullock], she has great skin. One thing about a good actor, they don’t sweat. They’re totally cool and know their lines. Even when it’s 90 degrees, they stay cool inside and you can put a mic on their skin and cover it with a softie, a felt thing so it doesn’t [record] clothing rustle and it will stay there. We have this stuff they use for burn victims, Tagaderm, and we put it on there and it will stay there all day long. She doesn’t sweat."

MOST DREADFUL MOVIE: “‘Leonard Part 6’ (1987), the one that Bill Cosby did. I felt really bad for Paul Weiland because it was his first feature film. He’s a really nice man, mainly a commercial director, that whole school of British directors with Ridley [Scott] and Tony [Scott] and Al[an] Parker and Adrian Lyne and it was his chance for his shot at Hollywood. It was an awful script and it turned out to be a terrible film. Mr. Cosby came out against it. He didn’t want anything to do with it. That was the end of David Puttnam and his reign at Coca Cola. He took a hike and went off and ran the British Film Society.  But I had a great time on the film."   

MOST DIFFICULT MOVIE SHOOT: “‘The Right Stuff’ (1983) was really difficult. [Producers] Bob Chartoff and Irwin Winkler had ordered a projection system and it wasn’t ready in time for the film [so] we were watching the dailies in the American Can Company on 3rd St. in San Francisco. It was this cement building with cement floors and cement ceiling. We put a screening room in and [it] had these old 1935 Acme projectors with 35 watt A500 speaker and it sounded terrible. I couldn’t believe how badly it sounded and I was getting kind of worried. I thought I was going to be fired. Caleb [Deschanel] came up  to me, he was having problems as well. He was the cameraman. So he was angry. I was angry. So one day, Caleb and I got into it. We’ve been good friends ever since, but, mind you, he was sort of complaining about the sound... f course, we never did get a projection system. So they took all my stuff and ran it through a Finley Hill box and they decided by listening to it that all the stuff they thought was happening wasn’t. It sounded great and everything was fine. It was the concrete. I won an Oscar and Caleb didn’t (laughs)."

MOST LIFE ALTERING SHOOT:  “'Black Widow’ (1987) because I met my wife."

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<p>Reese Witherpoon talks about her character Juniper in &quot;Mud&quot;</p>

Reese Witherpoon talks about her character Juniper in "Mud"

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Exclusive: Jeff Nichols and Reese Witherspoon talk 'Mud' in this behind-the-scenes clip

The film arrives on DVD/Blu-ray tomorrow

Over the weekend, Jeff Nichols' "Mud" quietly overtook "The Place Beyond the Pines" at the box office to become the specialty release champ on the year so far. Fingers crossed that its success there and with 151 of 154 critics noted at Rotten Tomatoes (boy do these three look silly) helps it find room in the upcoming Oscar season.

The film -- along with "Pines," in fact -- is set for release on DVD/Blu-ray tomorrow, so if you haven't caught it yet, you'll have your chance. To whet the appetite, Lionsgate Home Entertainment has offered us a glimpse at the special features of the package with this brief take from Nichols and Reese Witherspoon discussing the actress's character in the film.

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Watch a wacky new MGMT video for 'Your Life Is a Lie'

Watch a wacky new MGMT video for 'Your Life Is a Lie'

Eggs, lizards, a little person, bondage gear and a disappointed little girl

Sometimes, you'll dream of random artifacts from your day and your childhood, with every object and silly action feeling like it's all in good fun. But then you wake up feeling icky, like you forgot to do something important from the day before, or have many secrets you're bound to share.

In the music video for MGMT's new song "Your Life Is a Lie," those artifacts are of life and illusion. It is filled with symbolic and random ephemera including lizards, soccer balls, a dying man, bondage gear, a pyramid of eggs and your wife.

And like your dream, MGMT forgot to do something important, as in: they forgot to make a real song. The video is kind of great. The song may be from a forgotten episode of "Space Ghost."

"Your Life Is a Lie" is off of MGMT's next, self-titled album, out Sept. 17.

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GOP threatens debate boycott of NBC and CNN over Hillary Clinton TV specials

GOP threatens debate boycott of NBC and CNN over Hillary Clinton TV specials
Republican National Committee chair Reince Preibus sent letters to NBC and CNN saying that if NBC doesn't cancel its miniseries and CNN doesn't yank its planned documentary, the RNC will vote next week to "neither partner with you in 2016 primary debates nor sanction primary debates which you sponsor."

MTV orders a reality show about virgins
Cameras will follow young adults ages 18 to 25 as they deal with the pressures of being a virgin. PLUS: MTV orders "Snackdown" and "MTV's House of Food."

"Awkward" renewed with 2 new showrunners
The MTV series will officially be back for Season 4.

Shonda Rhimes wants to know early if her original cast members are leaving "Grey's Anatomy"
Rhimes has asked ABC Studios to figure out who's going to stay or go sooner than later. "If one of the Originals is going to be leaving I want to give them the beautiful exit they deserve," she says. "I don’t want to be kept guessing about what’s going to happen."

"Scandal's" Season 3 will start 22 minutes after the end of Season 2
Shonda Rhimes and her cast revealed that and other tidbits last night at the TCAs.

ABC has begun talks with Lucasfilm for a live-action "Star Wars"

"I certainly have a glint in my eye," says ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee. "They have a lot on their plate when you look at the features that they’re planning on rolling out for the next few years, but we’ve started conversations with them."

Zooey Deschanel defends the way she speaks
The "New Girl" star tells Marie Claire: "I became aware that people were criticizing the way I speak, which seems weird to me. I speak the way I speak, and I am an intelligent person."

"The Simpsons" theme park selling Conan O'Brien-themed ice cream
Visitors can buy "Ice Cream Conans" at Lard Lad Donuts.

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<p>In the final season premiere of &quot;The O.C.,&quot;&nbsp;Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie)&nbsp;turned to cage fighting. </p>

In the final season premiere of "The O.C.," Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) turned to cage fighting.

Credit: FOX

'The O.C.,' 10 years later: Josh Schwartz looks back, part 2

Revisiting Oliver, Johnny's knee and Ryan Atwood, cage fighter
Tonight is the 10th anniversary of the premiere of “The O.C.” on FOX. Last night, I posted the first part of a very long interview with the series’ creator Josh Schwartz, focusing on the show’s origins, casting the main characters and developing the sound of “The O.C.” In part 2, we spend more time on the ups and downs of the series as it continued well past the point anyone expected it to, and as rookie showrunner Schwartz had to figure out what to do after cramming three seasons’ worth of plot into his first one.
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<p>Kathryn Bigelow after winning Best Director at the 2009 BAFTA Awards.</p>

Kathryn Bigelow after winning Best Director at the 2009 BAFTA Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Kingsley to be honored at BAFTA/LA Britannia Awards

The ceremony takes place on November 9, and will be televised on BBC America

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that George Clooney will receive the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film at the Britannia Awards, an annual event held by BAFTA's Los Angeles division to celebrate unity between the British and US film industries. Today, two further honorees were confirmed for the November 9 ceremony: Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Kingsley.

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<p>Christian Bale waits patiently for the season to start, just like us.</p>

Christian Bale waits patiently for the season to start, just like us.

Credit: Relativity Media

Off the Carpet: Gearing up for the 2013-2014 season

A few updates and thoughts before the fall festival circuit sends us into the fray

We have a host. Studios have made their fall festival moves. Potential season players like "Captain Phillips" and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and "The Fifth Estate" and "Gravity," etc., have secured their big reveals. Telluride is on the horizon and with it, the season. You ready to do this?

I'm not. Not yet, anyway. We looked at the sidebar and figured it's been a month, let's refresh the predictions and typically, a column comes with that. But what's there to say? Okay, there is this and that…

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Ryan Seacrest officlally named host of NBC's 'Million Second Quiz'

Ryan Seacrest officlally named host of NBC's "Million Second Quiz"
He'll also executive produce the game show event, airing from Sept. 9 to 19.

Preview Oprah's grilling of Lindsay Lohan
"Are you an addict?"

"The Simpsons" coming to Legos
A special "Simpsons" family Lego set will debut worldwide in 2014.

Spike TV greenlights Adam Carolla's "Catch A Contractor"
Carolla will host the unscripted series in which the former carpenter as he calls out terrible contractors.

Keith Urban to kick off the NFL season on NBC

The "Idol" judge will perform during the pregame show on Sept. 5.

"Breaking Bad" gets the middle school musical treatment

Watch kids recreate the AMC series for the stage.

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