Latest Blog Posts

<p>Luke Bryan</p>

Luke Bryan

Credit: Jeff Bottari/AP

Luke Bryan and Jimi Hendrix head to the top of next week's Billboard 200

Forty years after his death, Hendrix's music still resonates

Country artist Luke Bryan scores his first Billboard 200 No. 1 next week as “Spring Break... Here To Party” looks like a lock for the top spot. However, the big news is who comes in at No. 2:  Jimi Hendrix.

Bryan’s set will sell up to 130,000, while Hendrix’s “People, Hell & Angels,” a new set of unreleased studio tracks, will likely sell up to 70,000 copies, more than 40 years after the guitar legend’s death.

Those are the only two debuts in the Top 10:  Last week’s No. 1, Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” drops to No. 3, while Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” is No. 4. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Heist” will be No. 5 with sales of up to 30,000.

Rihanna’s “Unapologetic looks good for No. 6. However, after that--and with three days left before the chart closes--it’s too close to call for Nos 7-10: Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times,”  Now 45, Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” and Andrea Bocelli’s “Passione” are all slated to sell between 22,000 and 25,000, according to Hits Daily Double.


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<p>Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim&nbsp;Carrey star in the new comedy 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,' the opening night film at this year's SXSW&nbsp;film festival</p>

Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi and Jim Carrey star in the new comedy 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,' the opening night film at this year's SXSW film festival

Credit: Warner Bros

Review: Steve Carell's 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' is more trick than magic

Some big laughs are lost in a narrative muddle

AUSTIN - I am fascinated by the world of stage magic. Always have been. It was hard not to become interested when I was growing up in the '70s because it was the age of the big prime time magic specials. During that era, there were two guys who always seemed to be in the lead, the ones who were turning out the most theatrical and the most entertaining specials, Doug Henning and David Copperfield. The idea that there was a rivalry between them over who was the best magician was part of what kept my friends and I so engaged from special to special, from year to year.

In recent years, I've been far less interested in the magic you see on TV, and part of that is because of the almost anti-theatricality that guys like David Blaine and Kriss Angel depend on for their performance personas. It feels to me like magic has evolved into something I don't particularly enjoy, or at least it does until I go to a place like the Magic Castle in LA and see somebody doing close-up magic that once again blows my mind and rekindles my sense of wonder. Intellectually, I understand how most tricks work, and I know misdirection is being used to help steer the illusions, but when someone pulls it off, there will always be that delicious feeling that something truly remarkable has just happened right in front of my eyes.

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<p>Rachel Weisz is all the pretty.</p>

Rachel Weisz is all the pretty.

Credit: HitFix

Rachel Weisz discusses why she did a rare blockbuster role in 'Oz The Great and Powerful'

The third witch discusses her role in Sam Raimi's newest film

One of the things that is an undeniable pleasure about "Oz The Great and Powerful" is that Sam Raimi ended up casting three beautiful and talented ladies as the witches, and each of them brings a very different energy to the picture.

I've already run my interviews with Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, and I've saved Rachel Weisz for last. I think Weisz is a classic beauty, and I love the way she's chosen roles over the years. She's not someone who seems like they're busy chasing the perfect career move or the giant blockbuster role. It still seems surreal when I see her show up in something like "The Bourne Legacy" or "Oz" because of how rarely she seems drawn to this type of material.

That was one of the things I discussed with her when we sat down to talk, and I think there's something very appropriate about her playing Evanora, older sister to Kunis's Theodora in the movie.  They certainly look like they share a joint heritage, but more than that, I think Weisz has an authority that makes her a convincing choice to rule the kingdom of Oz while waiting for the arrival of the Wizard who is supposed to take the throne. She never telegraphs Evanora's intentions, and even once she begins to reveal her true agenda, she never ends up playing the obvious choice.

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<p>John Ford in &quot;The Searchers.&quot;</p>

John Ford in "The Searchers."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Martin Scorsese channels his inner film critic on 'The Searchers'

The director writes about John Ford's 'uncomfortable' classic in THR

Perhaps even more so than his last couple of films, Martin Scorsese's contributions to film preservation and education in recent years have marked him as one of the medium's greatest guardians. From his "A Personal Journey Through American Movies" to the cineaste evangelising of "Hugo," he's taken on the status of a vastly informed, infectiously enthusiastic film history professor -- sometimes those who can do indeed teach.

Scorsese's most heartfelt, engaged tributes tend to be of the American films of his youth, so you know to expect a treat from his lengthy Hollywood Reporter guest piece on John Ford's "The Searchers," in which he discusses both the film itself and Glenn Frankel's new book on it.

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<p>John Mayer</p>

John Mayer

Watch: John Mayer's new video for 'Something Like Olivia'

Is Olivia a guitar or a woman? Does it matter?

B.B. King has his Lucille, John Mayer wants his Olivia. In Mayer’s new video for the gently swaying “Something Like Olivia,” it’s never clear if he’s longing for a woman or a guitar (or perhaps both).  Should Katy Perry be jealous? 

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Snoop Dogg</p>

Snoop Dogg

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Snoop Dogg laments loss of Mr. Magic, Tupac Shakur on new track, 'Heaven'

Loping tune inspired by loss of his No Limit labelmate

Snoop Dogg has released a new track that laments all the people he has lost in his life over the years. “Heaven,” which opens with a calliope organ before giving way to Snoop’s very autotuned vocals, is a tribute to his No Limit Records buddy Mr. Magic, as well as to Nate Dogg and Tupac Shakur. Mr. Magic, (a.k.a. Atwood Johnson) and his wife, Chastity, died in a car accident over the weekend.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Emma Watson in &quot;The Bling Ring.&quot;</p>

Emma Watson in "The Bling Ring."

Credit: A24

Emma Watson gets rebellious in slick teaser for Sofia Coppola's 'The Bling Ring'

The latest from the Oscar-winning writer-director opens June 14

One of the films I'm most looking forward to this summer is "The Bling Ring" -- partly because I'm intrigued by the true-life story of teen burglars preying on celebrity homes in the Hollywood Hills, but mostly because Sofia Coppola is a filmmaker I'm still happy to follow anywhere.

I know a lot of viewers haven't been on board with her since "Lost in Translation," for which she won an Oscar almost 10 years ago, but I maintain that "Marie Antoinette" is a pretty rapturous remix of the historical biopic template, while the beguilingly low-key "Somewhere" was worthy of its much-questioned Golden Lion at Venice in 2010. Her privileged background and high-fashion aesthetic may make her an easy target, but she has yet to put a foot wrong in my book.

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Are these new Daft Punk songs? 'Dancing to the Beat' and 'Future Is Now'

Are these new Daft Punk songs? 'Dancing to the Beat' and 'Future Is Now'

Those helmets can't just be smacked anywhere

Daft Punk released a 15-second commercial, a teaser trailer to their new album last weekend during "Saturday Night Live" with a blippy guitar-led groove. That groove seems to belong to "Dance to the Beat" a song that has successfully "leaked" from the French duo's new album.

And I say "leaked" because unlike other promotions and actual leaks, Columbia hasn't pulled the full-length, high-quality audio track down from YouTube yet, even as it sports the new Daft Punk signature, their performance helmets split and merged together.

Not only is "Dance to the Beat" making the rounds, but similarly so is "Future Is Now," a house anthem if there ever was one. It sports the same image plus an audio frequency bar and the Columbia logo.

The future is, indeed, now: the wait is... over? Producers have tried to scam fans into believing their own work was the work of Daft Punk, but there would undoubtedly have been quicker, swifter retribution (er, C&Ds) misusing the name, logos and sounds of the band if this were the case. Sneaky leaks seem to be in their wheelhouse in the promotional game at this point anyway.

Perhaps more will be revealed over the weekend, since that seems to be Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manual De Homem Christo's preferred promo time period.

The album -- as yet untitled -- was initially rumored to arrive next week on March 12. We'll be busy at SXSW. We can only dream that Daft Punk would be too.

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<p>Christopher Nolan</p>

Christopher Nolan

Credit: AP Photo

Paramount and Warner Bros. to co-produce and distribute Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar'

Mark your calendars for November 2014

If you've been following Christopher Nolan's post-'Dark Knight' trilogy moves, then you know he has a lot going on. In addition to producing Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" for Warner Bros., it has also been reported that he will be brought into the fold to help spearhead the DC Universe on film as the studio tries to figure out how to get a "Justice League" film off the ground and compete with Marvel's "The Avengers."

Meanwhile, he jumped on board "Interstellar," which was written by his brother Jonathan for Steven Spielberg to direct. But like so many Spielberg projects, it was back-burnered, and now with Nolan at the helm, merging one of his own ideas with his brother's ambitious project, "Intersteller" will be a blend and a new production entirely. Today, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. announced that it will be a co-production jointly distributed by the two entities. Paramount will handle domestic, Warner Bros. the surely more lucrative international.

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Of course you'd give it a thumbs up, James. We'd like to hear from the readers, though.
Of course you'd give it a thumbs up, James. We'd like to hear from the readers, though.
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

Audiences return to the Emerald City this weekend

I'm slowly making my way back to movie-watching mode after the onslaught of awards season. You need a palette-cleanser in the immediate wake of such craziness. And one of the biggest films of the year, Sam Raimi's "Oz the Great and Powerful," is hitting theaters this week after a rather sluggish start for 2013 at multiplexes. (Seriously, there may be good little films in this and that nook and/or cranny, but I walked past a marquee the other day and got immediately depressed. It's dreary out there.)

I haven't yet seen Raimi's spin on the Emerald City with James Franco leading the charge, but I've heard good and bad, to say the least. In his review HitFix's Drew McWeeny wrote "there's enough genuine wonder to make this work where ['Alice in Wonderland,' an inevitable comparison point] failed, and it honors the world that Frank L. Baum first created instead of trying to rebuild it into something it's not." Others weren't so kind. I'll let you be the judge of that. So when and if you get around to seeing the film this weekend, give us your take in the comments section and vote in our new poll below!

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<p>Warwick Davis is, quite simply, one of the nicest guys in this business, and it's great to hear him telling new stories about the making of 'Willow'</p>

Warwick Davis is, quite simply, one of the nicest guys in this business, and it's great to hear him telling new stories about the making of 'Willow'

Credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Exclusive: Warwick Davis on horseback riding in 'Willow' and how Val Kilmer helped him

As the Lucas/Howard fantasy gets the deluxe Blu-ray treatment, we've got a sneak peek

I remember when "Willow" was first announced. I was working at a movie theater, and in those pre-Internet days, there were posters that would arrive and be the first indication that a movie even existed. Sure, I read "Starlog" and "Fangoria" and whatever issues of "Variety" I could get my hands on, and I did my best to be as tuned in as possible to what was happening in movies, but it was a lot harder to come by early information.  As a result, when we opened the poster tubes on day and pulled out a gorgeous but mysterious teaser poster that consisted of red-orange clouds and a simple title treatment for "Willow" with the tagline "Forget all you know… or think you know," all we really had to go on was "From the creator of 'Star Wars'" at the top and "From the director of 'Cocoon'" at the bottom.

Almost immediately, the speculation began, and more than one person guessed that this was finally the new "Star Wars" film, a mere five years after the release of "Return Of The Jedi."  In those days, we still believed that Lucas was going to continue making the films in a fairly timely manner, and even once other publicity materials started showing up, it took me a while to really believe that "Willow" was its own thing.

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: 'A Sticky Situation' calls for duct tape prom dresses

Real high school students get to influence the vote


I decided to check in with "Project Runway" this week because the two other shows I now recap on Thursday nights ("Scandal" and "The Vampire Diaries") are in reruns, and boy, I'm glad I did. This week is the duct tape (or, to be brand specific, Duck Tape) challenge, and better yet, the assignment is to make friggin' prom dresses. I love this idea, and I'm hoping the designers go nuts with it. These days, duct tape (or, really Duck Tape) is available in all kinds of crazy prints and patterns. Not where I shop, of course, because I would buy some. Not sure where I'd use it, but I would find a use for zebra print duct tape in my house because it is just too awesome to stick under your sink. 

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