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<p>Even when Jimmy Fallon does a fun bit like sing with Selena Gomez, isn't it easier to just watch online the next morning?</p>

Even when Jimmy Fallon does a fun bit like sing with Selena Gomez, isn't it easier to just watch online the next morning?

Credit: NBC

(End of) the late shift: Will replacing Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon amount to anything?

Does the traditional late-night talk show format have relevance today, regardless of who's hosting?

If those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, then it's pretty clear that the current struggling administration at NBC has no more interest in history than the many failed ones it succeeded.

Yup, it's time for another round of late-night mayhem, thanks to reports in The New York Times and, before it, Hollywood Reporter, saying that NBC is barreling forward with a late-night succession plan that will have Jimmy Fallon replace Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show" sometime in 2014, whether during the Winter Olympics in February or in the fall of that year.

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<p>Ryan Gosling will give you all the punches.</p>

Ryan Gosling will give you all the punches.

Credit: Nicolas Winding Refn

Director of 'Drive' reveals new Gosling images from 'Only God Forgives' via Twitter

Refn's new one looks stylish and violent already

I'm really curious to see how Twitter evolves in the future. It's gone from what I considered a ridiculous idea the first time I heard about it to a very powerful form of social media where information is shared in new ways and at lightning speed. I think people are trying to figure out how to game Twitter in some cases, and in other cases I see people simply being people, using it in a very pure and sincere way, and there's no rules that dictate how it has to be at this point.

I know that there is actual language in contracts these days that mandates that certain people have to maintain a social media presence, and there are agencies that exist to provide people who can manage that presence for you. In some cases, when you read the Twitter feed of a public figure, you're getting something that's been vetted, something that is written by committee and used to release certain publicity materials at certain times.

Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling working together is automatically interesting after their collaboration on "Drvie." I think it's safe to say that they now demand a certain level of curiosity just by virtue of what they each bring to the table. Gosling's taste is great nine times out of ten, and that tenth time, I can almost always understand what attracted him to the project. He picks his scripts and his directors with care, and I think it speaks well of him that filmmakers seem to like to work with him more than once if possible.

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<p>Between takes on the set of 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' Chris Pine likes to entertain the cast and crew with his impression of Cesar Romero as The Joker</p>

Between takes on the set of 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' Chris Pine likes to entertain the cast and crew with his impression of Cesar Romero as The Joker

Credit: Paramount Pictures

One more international trailer for 'Star Trek Into Darkness' manages to still keep secrets

Can Paramount make it to release without spoilers being leaked?

It's amazing to me that we've got a new "Star Trek" movie hitting theaters in May and we still know very little about it. Amazing and, I must say, highly enjoyable.

At this point, I've decided that even in my review, I'm not going to spell out the details of who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing in the film. At this point, if Paramount and Bad Robot have successfully kept the true nature of "John Harrison" a secret, then more power to them. I think it's an interesting coincidence that they're using Robert April so prominently in the "Countdown To Darkness" comic series that IDW is publishing, since I was the one person to point the finger at April as the possible identity of Cumberbatch in the film, but I suspect even that is part of the misdirect.

What I do know for sure is that this is a seriously confident marketing push so far. This new international trailer has some great imagery, and I like that we're still not seeing a polished and practiced crew onboard the Enterprise. I don't mind seeing this new configuration of the classic characters go through some difficult learning experiences on their way to becoming the iconic characters of the original series. I hope they hold off on assigning them on their five-year mission until they've been well and truly tested as a team. After all, you'd send your best and brightest out there to make first contact with a wild and untamed universe, wouldn't you? And right now, these characters are still learning how to be a united crew.

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<p>Fans vs. Favorites no more</p>

Fans vs. Favorites no more

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Caramoan' - 'Operation Thunder Dome'

A shift changes the course of the game, but Phillip is still annoying
Pre-credit sequence. The Favorites return and it's daytime and they're united in their relief at having jettisoned Brandon. However, there's some question of whether Brandon's departure might have buoyed the Fans. "I don't see how anybody could respect one ounce of what he did," Phillip maintains. Andrea and Phillip still worry that he did damage to their images. "Correct me if I'm wrong. I don't think I ever had any cross words with him," Phillip maintains. Nobody corrects him, nor does anybody agree. Corinne hopes Brandon never gets to play again, because he's a quitter and a crazy person. As she puts it, he's "up there with Mel Gibson and any other crazy person." "It's comforting to know that Brandon was successfully able to fly out of the cuckoo's nest and now we're just left with Phillip," Cochran says. Phillip is ready to return to action and Corinne is his next target.
 
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<p>Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong at SXSW</p>

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong at SXSW

Credit: AP Photo

Green Day, 'Cuatro,' 'Broadway Idiot': Interviews on growing up and out of the past

What 'post-rehab' means for the veteran pop-rock-punk band

AUSTIN – At one point in “¡Cuatro!” – one of two Green Day films to premiere at South By Southwest -- Billie Joe Armstrong and his band are complaining about fans that request their oldest songs at their surprise, small gigs. These tiny 2012 concerts were arranged to workshop Green Day’s new tunes live, and with the abundance of material written for the recent “¡Uno!,” “¡Dos!” and “¡Tré!” trilogy albums, they wanted to play the new stuff and not the old.

The rock band referred to older tunes like “Basket Case” as “sacred cows.” “I think cows should be eaten,” Armstrong said in the film.
 
Fast-forward to Green Day’s high-profile SXSW show at the ACL theater in Austin, on a busy Friday night, and only eight songs of the 25 on the setlist were new tracks. There they were, jamming through "Dookie" tunes and crowd-pleasing medleys (yes, plural) of well-trod covers like “Highway to Hell” with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Shout” with “Hey Jude” and “Stand By Me.” On the latter, they were cornballing, shilling, a seemingly cheap move if it didn’t seem like they were having so much fun, and didn’t sound so damn good.
 
Delicious, delicious cows.
 
That’s one of many reasons that makes a film like “¡Cuatro!” so unique: it's a snapshot into the band’s creative process at a given time, when old and covers material has less (or no) bearing on their output to come. When they played “Longview” on the stage at ACL, perhaps those feelings of resentment had dissolved and they again love to play the hits again. Maybe they turned anything negative about "Burnout" and its ilk into positive energy, displacing it onto their audience or industry-heavy attendees. Or some things are just bound to change when you play to an audience of 120 versus 2,000 versus 50,000.
 
Last year, Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan had some strong words about playing his old hits: “If that audience is there only to see the past, get me off the stage… We have to break a spell with our audience, to get out of the idea that the band from 2008-on was going to be an oldies act,” he told me. “Smashing Pumpkins will never, ever, ever be an oldies act, and if that means the end of the business or whatever, tough sh*t for me.”
 
It’s not “tough sh*t” for Green Day, and revitalizing their old material comes easy. For example, they helped reanimate material from “American Idiot” into a stage musical of the same name. In Doug Hamilton’s film “Broadway Idiot” (also at SXSW) Armstrong’s amazement in hearing “American Idiot” songs in this way transformed him from an idle participant member to a performing cast member. You could see something new click from inside of him, and he ultimately played 50 dates on Broadway as St. Jimmy.
 
“Audiences are going to be on Billie’s shoulder as he goes through that process,” Hamilton told me on the red carpet to “Broadway Idiot.” He said that, a day after it was revealed that Armstrong was going to dip into stage musicals again: the singer will be writing new music for the Yale Repertory Theater’s “These Paper Bullets,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing, ” for a March 2014 premiere.
 
What audiences won’t see from Armstrong’s shoulder is his public meltdown from the stage of iHeartRadio in 2012, which propelled him to check-in to rehab for prescription drug and alcohol abuse.
 
“¡Cuatro!” was completed and locked long before that descent and there’s no inkling of his detrimental addiction, no foreshadowing of the rehab to come. Instead, there’s a snapshot of the band’s drug-use as a lifestyle, with hazy footage of pills being popped and dancing in trashed hotel rooms. Armstrong recalls the first time he and bandmate Mike Dirnt dropped acid; Tré Cool jokes about listening to a new track on shrooms.
 
Again, the health of a band like Green Day is by no means a permanent. “¡Cuatro!” was truly a record of record-making, a place and time and age of the band during the creative process.
 
“They just wanted to do something fun, spontaneous, true to what was going on… Capture that moment in time,” said director Tim Wheeler during the Q&A after the screening. For the references to drug use, “They really stand by this moment in their career in documenting that. I don’t think it shows it in a bad way.”
 
Despite their awesome live show and these adaptable, wild new albums ,“this” moment will be referred to as “post-rehab Green Day,” for better and for worse. As Armstrong said in “Cuatro,” Green Day wants his audience to “grow with you and grow up with you.” Old hits and waning addiction may be in the past, but it’s still consequently a part of who this band is today. With so much great showmanship and joy as seen on stage and in “Cuatro” and "Broadway Idiot," I hope Green Day growing up is for the best.

 

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<p>Nina (Annet Mahendru) and Stan (Noah Emmerich)&nbsp;in &quot;The Americans.&quot;</p>

Nina (Annet Mahendru) and Stan (Noah Emmerich) in "The Americans."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Americans' - 'Mutually Assured Destruction'

Phillip and Elizabeth have to stop a KGB assassin after the Center changes its mind

A review of tonight's "The Americans" coming up just as soon as my thing is Ecclesiastical...

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Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' keeps a shaky hold atop the Billboard Hot 100
Credit: Mad Decent

Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' keeps a shaky hold atop the Billboard Hot 100

Pink lands her 14th top 10 with 'Just Give Me A Reason'

“Harlem Shake” shakily holds on to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week, despite another week of declining YouTube streaming.

Baauer’s viral sensation also sees digital downloads slide, but sees on-demand audio streaming rise, according to Billboard.


“Shake’s” success keeps former No. 1, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s  “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz at No. 2 again, while Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” stays at No. 3.

Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay Z climbs 5-4, flipping places with Rihanna’s “Stay” featuring Mikky Ekko.

Also swapping spots are Drake’s “Started From The Bottom,” which rises 7-6, trading with Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which moves 6-7.

Rounding out the top 10, will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream & Shout” holds at No. 8, Pink lands her 14th top 10 as “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess from fun.,  soars 18-9, and Lil Wayne’s “Love Me” featuring Drake slips 9-10.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 9</p>

The "American Idol" Top 9

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Top 9: Lennon & McCartney Night

The singers try their voices on some Beatles favorites

Curtis Finch Jr. is gone. I'm not hugely shocked. Most veteran "American Idol" observers aren't hugely shocked. But I'm guessing we're going to start Wednesday (March 20) night's episode being hugely shocked.

Then we're gonna sing Lennon & McCartney songs. Jimmy Iovine says it's a theme that requires no gimmicks.

Whee!

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<p>Michelle Shocked performs at the Madison, WI&nbsp;state Capitol in 2011.</p>

Michelle Shocked performs at the Madison, WI state Capitol in 2011.

Credit: AP Photo/Andy Manis

Michelle Shocked responds to her alleged anti-gay comments

Hear the tape from Sunday's concert

Michelle Shocked has responded with two open letters regarding reports of her anti-gay comments she made from the stage at San Francisco club Yoshi’s on Sunday night. In the wake of her comments (the audio is below), she apologizes for what fans “think they’ve heard.”

She says she’s speaking for others below, but when she starts to talk about her faith and Jesus, she says. “I was in a prayer meeting yesterday. You’ve got to appreciate how scared, how scared, folks on that side of the equation are. I mean, from their vantage point, and I really shouldn’t say their, because it’s mine too, we nearly are at the end of time. From our vantage point, we’re going to be, I think maybe Chinese Water Torture is going to be the method, once Prop 8 gets instated and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals, I’m pretty sure that that will be the signal for God to come on back. You said you wanted reality...”    She later says “I am so committed to loving each and every soul in this room tonight that I could not come here and ignore you. I could not come here and pretend that I was above the conversation.” (And just to clarify, Prop 8 has been passed in California and it does not allow gays to marry, so she actually means once Prop 8 is repealed).

[More after the jump...]

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Naomi Grossman of "American Horror Story"

 Naomi Grossman of "American Horror Story" 

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Pepper from 'American Horror Story' reveals the demands of being a pinhead

Naomi Grossman really had to go the distance for this character

I'll admit it -- when I first saw Naomi Grossman as Pepper on "American Horror Story," I thought she really was microencephalitic. Yes, a pinhead. It didn't hurt that she'd shaved her head, slapped on a prosthetic nose and teeth, and wore a tiny ponytail at the top of her head, not unlike one of the real "pinheads" we've seen in Tod Browning's "Freaks." She looked like the real deal -- so, it had to be special effects, right? Nope.

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<p>Christina Applegate will follow up her currently-shooting role in 'Anchorman 2' by co-starring in the upcoming 'Vacation' reboot</p>

Christina Applegate will follow up her currently-shooting role in 'Anchorman 2' by co-starring in the upcoming 'Vacation' reboot

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Christina Applegate will take a 'Vacation' with Ed Helms

One of the most reliable female comedy leads working joins the reboot's cast

Christina Applegate is an example of how a young performer can make a graceful and successful transition to an adult career, and every time I hear someone make excuses for a Lindsay Lohan or an Amanda Bynes during a spectacular public flame-out, I feel like Applegate is the perfect way to refute the claims that it's the system that ruins these people.

After all, when Applegate was cast on "Married With Children," she was a kid, and she'd already been acting for the better part of a decade. She did guest bits on TV shows like "Charles In Charge" and played small roles like the young Grace Kelly in a TV movie.  "Married" was the moment she finally made a real impression, though, and the character she played was a heavy metal bimbo. If anyone was set for inappropriate attention and plenty of it, it was her, and yet from the very start, it was obvious she had a phenomenal sense of timing. There were a few attempts to build movies around her while "Married" was still on the air, but nothing really clicked. It seemed like TV was going to be the place where she worked best, and networks seemed determined to build shows around her. "Jesse" ran for 2 seasons, but I'll bet most people would be hard-pressed to even remember what that is at this point.

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'Game of Thrones' mastermind George R.R. Martin talks Blackwater, TV changes and playing favorites

'Game of Thrones' mastermind George R.R. Martin talks Blackwater, TV changes and playing favorites

'Song of Ice and Fire' scribe discusses his annual HBO episode
On Monday's (March 18) "Game of Thrones" premiere red carpet in Hollywood, I had short conversations with many of the show's stars.
 
You've already seen my interviews with Rose Leslie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, which only ran around two minutes apiece.
 
Somehow, I ended up getting a meatier seven minutes with franchise author George R.R. Martin, which was good because the "Song of Ice and Fire" scribe was in a thoughtful mood, starting right off the top with a simple-silly question asking him to play favorites with the books in his series. 
 
In this conversation, Martin discusses the changing nature of TV from the more procedural-driven format he had to work in back in the '80s to its more serialized permutations now. He also talks about the pleasure of writing last season's "Blackwater" episode and seeing that epic battle brought to the screen. He also talks about what drew him to the episode he wrote in Season 3. 
 
It's a good chat.
 
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on Sunday, March 31.
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