Latest Blog Posts

Alexander Skarsgard and Brit Marling would make the most Aryan babies in the history of the world.
Alexander Skarsgard and Brit Marling would make the most Aryan babies in the history of the world.
Credit: HitFix

Brit Marling and her collaborators on 'The East' talk about charisma and cults

An unconventional interview situation yields solid results

This was a strange one.

Not because of the cast of "The East," keep in mind, but simply because of my own scheduling snafu over the weekend. I flew to El Paso, TX, so I could attend a press event for "After Earth," and I was set to fly back to LA on a Friday night. Unfortunately, my flight, the last flight out of El Paso got cancelled, and so when the press day for "The East" took place on Saturday, I was still in Texas.

The only compromise we could find, thanks the way we had the rest of Team HitFix scheduled, was to have one of Fox Searchlight's publicists read my questions for the cast, so technically, this may be my interview, but I wasn't there.

It's a shame, too. I'd like to meet Brit Marling and talk to her about the work she's been doing for the last couple of years. I'm intrigued by the subjects she's drawn to as a writer and by the choices she makes as a performer, and "The East" certainly fits, thematically speaking, with "Sound Of My Voice."

Read Full Post
Video: Best and Worst of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival's second week

Video: Best and Worst of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival's second week

How did Palme d'Or winner 'Blue is the Warmest Color' measure up?

CANNES - Once again from the south of France and the 66th Cannes Film Festival a few days post-fest, HitFix's Gregory Ellwood and Guy Lodge of In Contention survey the lay of the land, this time focusing on the festival's second week.

Read Full Post
Funeral Plans for 2012-2013's Network TV Freshman Casualties

Funeral Plans for 2012-2013's Network TV Freshman Casualties

Saying farewell to 'Go On,' 'Partners,' 'The Mob Doctor' and more

Summer is here. A handful of broadcast network shows are finishing off runs that began in the season, but the business as a whole has already moved on to the traditions of summer: failed shows being burned off, summer cable premieres, and buzz on fall pilots.

Before we fully engage in looking forward, though, Fienberg and I want to take one last look back at some of the series that won't be joining us next season. As has become an annual tradition at HitFix, we've made funeral plans for the canceled freshmen series that aired on the broadcast networks in the 2012-13 season. Some, we kind of liked ("Go On," "Ben and Kate"). Some, we hated instantly ("Partners," "Guys with Kids"). Some, we barely got to know at all ("Made in Jersey," "Do No Harm"). A year ago, many of them had such promise, but now they're done.

Join us for this sad trip down memory lane before we move into happier summer activities over the next few weeks.

Read Full Post
"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: It's off to Boston for talent, nuts

Some auditions inspire, while others just confuse

Ah, more auditions. Doesn't the road to Vegas seem a lot longer than usual this season? This week, the show is heading off to Boston, which is where season 6 winner Russell was found. That would suggest greatness is there to be found, and yes, there are some amazing auditions. Unfortunately, there's some total crap as well. The good news? It seems that this season, "SYTYCD" is making a conscious effort to show us montages of crap, which gives us the flavor of garbage, but prevents said crappy dancers from getting their names in households across the country or even a truly singular YouTube video. I think this is a smart move, although I almost wanted to see the entirety of the bunny dancing chick's audition. That looked messed up. 

Read Full Post
Review: Laura Marling's new album 'Once I Was An Eagle'

Review: Laura Marling's new album 'Once I Was An Eagle'

Folk singer is back and into flight


Twenty-three, and already four excellent albums under her belt. To speak of Laura Marling’s youth is something to celebrated – not a record-selling ploy -- particularly when she’s got the blues equal to that of men and women three-times her age. “Once I Was an Eagle” showcases the English folk songwriter’s ever-better abilities on guitar, but also her joy in playing with others, as she’s set her stage to almost counter the noises and crescendos that battle her emotional play.
Marling starts her metaphorical mission on “Eagle,” naturally, on wings, giving some background on her character’s damaged state in a sensual vibrato. “Every little girl is so naïve… I will not be a victim of romance,” she sings on her “I Was an Eagle” before letting her defiance give way to absolute mourning. “You Know” poses the question to herself (and her listeners): am I a gallant animal or a vulnerable baby human? This anthropomorphizing comes to a head in “Master Hunter,” a title and sound that is as aggressive as Marling gets, in its harsh Dylan-esque cadences and a foreshadowing: “I am a master hunter / I cured my skin, now nothing gets in.”
Yes, thank God, she ultimately turns this march into the ocean (or, “Devil’s Resting Place”) around, with an actual “Interlude” and cheerier arrangements and uptempo rockers -- even as she admits somethings do get under her skin. Jaunty tune “Pray for Me” concludes “I cannot love, I want to be alone” even as there’s the instrumental and sonic promise of ascent and healing from love-burn. “Love Be Brave” waxes regret and change but sways like a James Taylor-meets-Joni beach song. “Where Can I Go” transitions from impeccable finger-picking to strong strumming as she churns on childhood and woman-ness. Like acoustic, left coast Pink Floyd, “Little Bird" has her back into flight and on closer “Saved These Words," she thanks “naivety for failing me again / he was my next verse.”
Yup, that’s the sound of a book being closed.
Marling brings this whopper full circle, though it runs too long. She takes her time on this collection of quiet burnings, full of her usual idiosyncrasies. There are not just some sophisticated truths of womanhood, but of the human, young, mistake-laden life cycle, something that’s dark and yet redemptive by its end. She keeps true to her character, too, as defiant and grand, beautifully so. Articulate with her voice, lyrics and guitar-playing, Marling can tell a good story with proof that age is nothing but a number.


Read Full Post
<p>'Direct the next movie, Sam.' 'I can't. Really. I've got so much stuff to do that I...' 'I&nbsp;SAID&nbsp;DIRECT&nbsp;THE&nbsp;NEXT MOVIE, SAM!&nbsp;DO&nbsp;IT!&nbsp;DO&nbsp;IT!&nbsp;DO&nbsp;IT!' '... I&nbsp;think I'll direct the next movie.'</p>

'Direct the next movie, Sam.' 'I can't. Really. I've got so much stuff to do that I...' 'I SAID DIRECT THE NEXT MOVIE, SAM! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!' '... I think I'll direct the next movie.'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Sam Mendes may return to direct 'Bond 24' after all

Did Cannes cost another director the gig?

 This doesn't surprise me at all.

I saw The Wrap's Jeff Sneider recently at a screening of "Star Trek Into Darkness," and as we were waiting to head into the auditorium, we were talking about the tenuous nature of James Bond director rumors.

Team EON is legendarily specific about what they do and how they approach the process of collaboration, and one of the things that has been interesting to watch over the course of the Daniel Craig era has been the evolution of their thinking about who to hire to direct the films. The Bond series has been steered by some workhorses, some modestly respectable industry journeymen, and some guys promoted from other departments on the series who were as close to a Home Team as possible. Until recently, though, they didn't reach out to the A-list with any sort of serious intent.

Read Full Post
Album Review: John Fogerty's 'Wrote A Song For Everyone' with Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert
Credit: Vanguard Records

Album Review: John Fogerty's 'Wrote A Song For Everyone' with Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert

How do reinventions of his classics stand up to the originals?

One of last year’s top sellers was “Tuskegee,” a collection of Lionel Richie’s greatest hits newly recorded by the ex-Commodore with a passel of top country music artists, including Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and Blake Shelton.

[More after the jump...]


Read Full Post

'Mermaids' sets an Animal Planet ratings record

"Mermaids" special sets an Animal Planet ratings record

"Mermaids: The New Evidence" scored 3.6 million viewers -- it topped the Puppy Bowl.

James Lipton recalls his past as a pimp

The "Actor's Studio" host admits he was a pimp in Paris in the '50s.

How the internet ruined "Arrested Development"
The internet created expectations so lofty that Mitch Hurwitz couldn't have met them. PLUS: In defense of "Arrested's" Netflix edition, and Season 4 ruined "Arrested" as a Communist utopia, "Arrested" episodes were pirated 100,000 times on the first day, and Netflix's stock drops after "Arrested' premiere.

"Mike & Molly's" tornado-delayed season finale will air Thursday

The season finale will be shown at 8:30 on Thursday.

Ex-Fox reality star to direct a reboot of the "Leprechaun" movie franchise
Zach Lipovsky was featured on the 2007 reality show "On the Lot" from Mark Burnett, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.

Has Betty emerged as the "hero" of "Mad Men"?
As Darren Franich points out, "in a season that looks more and more like a pre-apocalyptic portrait of troubled human beings preparing to collapse in on themselves, Betty right now looks like the one character who has achieved a measure of contentment, even grace." PLUS: This has become the season of rooting against Don Draper, and why is everyone so unlikable this season?

Why do we binge-watch TV?
Is binge-watching changing our culture?

Meet "Dexter's" new neuropsychiatrist
Charlotte Rampling guest-stars this season as Dr. Evelyn Vogel.

"True Blood" music director prefers the vampire series to "Dexter"

Gary Calamar, who supervises the music of both shows, says: "It is probably my most rewarding show that I work on."

"The Glades" and "Longmire" return to bigger ratings
Both A&E series were up on last year's season premieres.

Done deal: LuAnn de Lesseps rejoins "Real Housewives"
She was the last remaining holdout from the NYC edition.

Kaley Cuoco: Travel Channel should cancel "Bizarre Foods"

The "Big Bang Theory" star tweeted: "I dnt thnk Bizarre Foods on travel,should b allowed on air.It's gross and involves animal cruelty. Dnt care if my tweet receives 'backlash'"

NBC will air "The Women's Concert for Change"," headlined by Beyonce

The London concert event will air June 2 with performances from Jennifer Lopez, Jay Z, Ellie Goulding, Florence + the Machine and others.

Presenting the worst of "The Bachelorette"

One guy immediately asked for sex, another brought his kid. PLUS: "Bachelorette" by the numbers, and ex-"Bachelorette" star Kasey Kahl avoids prison.

How are Israeli fans of "Prisoner of War" reacting to "Homeland"?
Gideon Raff, the creator of the Israeli series that inspired "Homeland," says: "The Israeli show is more of an emotional journey, a dramatic exploration of these characters." PLUS: Check out "Homeland" filming at the Charlotte Observer, and "This Week" profiles "Homeland."

Watch Mel Brooks' PBS documentary tribute

"Mel Brooks: Make a Noise" was part of the "American Masters" series.

Download Fred Armisen's "SNL" farewell song
"Ian Rubbish" recorded "It's a Lovely Day" in studio.

Mayim Bialik is officially divorced
"The Big Bang Theory" star and her husband since 2003 split houses in their settlement.

"Girls" star is struggling with her Kickstarter

Zosia Mamet is trying to fund a music video for her hipster folk band.

"Supernanny" Jo Frost returns tonight in "Family S.O.S."
The TLC reality show tries to expand on Frost's expertise.

Read Full Post
<p>Nine Inch Nails</p>

Nine Inch Nails

Credit: AP Photo

Nine Inch Nails ink deal with Columbia Records for new album

Set will be first since 2008's 'The Slip'

Nine Inch Nails have signed with Columbia Records for the release of a new NIN album later this year.

While NIN founder Trent Reznor has often championed a D-I-Y aesthetic, the move isn’t that surprising given that his trio, How To Destroy Angels, which also includes his composing partner Atticus Ross and his wife Mariqueen Maandig, is on Columbia. 

In a press release, Reznor admitted, “I’ve been less than honest about what I’ve really been up to to lately... for the last year, I’ve been secretly working non-stop with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record, which I’m happy to say is finishing and frankly f**king great.”

Actually, he hasn’t been that dishonest: Reznor hasn’t hidden that he was writing material for a potential NIN album to the press...Plus, with two-dozen upcoming dates including Lollapalooza in Chicago, as well as the Reading Festival and The Leeds Festival in the U.K., it’s not that surprising that new music is on the way.

The current line-up, following Eric Avery’s departure two weeks ago —is Reznor, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Robin Finck and Ilan Rubin. The line-up will bow July 26 at the Fuji Rock Festival in Naeba, Japan, NIN’s first live show in almost four years. Reznor confirmed long-time, off-and-on again NINer Finck’s inclusion via Twitter earlier this month.

Reznor, who, with Ross, won an Academy Award for their score for “The Social Network,” said his film work has helped fuel his NIN resurgence: “My forays into film, HTDA and other projects really stimulated me creatively and I decided to focus that energy on taking Nine Inch Nails to a new place. Here we go!”

The new album will be NIN’s first new collection since 2008’s “The Slip,” which the band made available for free download via its website.

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Orange County"

 "The Real Housewives of Orange County"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Orange County': Does Tamra's past excuse her rage?

The frequently furious housewife confesses she just needs a hug

In last night's episode of "The Real Housewives of Orange County," we got to spend some quality time with Tamra and her mom and a reported audience of a thousand people that really looked to be about 50. Tamra was giving an inspirational keynote speech at a women's expo in Los Angeles, which turned out to be more about Tamra barfing out the crappy details of her life than inspiring anyone, unless the inspiration was "You, too, can someday be a reality TV star with a wine club! And a gym which has yet to open! And maybe good hair!" 

Read Full Post
<p>Scarlett Johansson at the 2012 Democratic National Convention</p>

Scarlett Johansson at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

Credit: AP Photo

Chastain, Johansson, Seyfried and Witherspoon chase the role of Hillary 'Rodham'

Who do you think should get the part?

One has to imagine that the role of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the developing biopic "Rodham" is a bit of a coveted one for the industry's top actresses. The project is already fascinating from the outside, stemming from a 2012 Black List script penned by Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim spear-headed by "The Twilight Saga" producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen with indie filmmaker James Pondsoldt on board to direct. When the casting news finally does hit, it will be just one more level of intrigue.

Two years ago at the Kennedy Center Honors, the late Nora Ephron quipped of Meryl Streep's versatility (amid the flurry of the actress's Oscar-winning work as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady") that it was only a matter of time before she would play the former Secretary of State and First Lady. Although "Rodham" happens to be set during the height of the Watergate scandal in 1974 when the 27-year-old politician became the youngest lawyer chosen for the House Judiciary Committee to impeach Richard Nixon. The 63-year-old Streep would better compute for a modern-day yarn, but a quartet of Hollywood's younger stars are keen on the role, The Sunday Times revealed this weekend.

Read Full Post
Watch: Kelly Clarkson shows her true colors in 'People Like Us' video

Watch: Kelly Clarkson shows her true colors in 'People Like Us' video

She's got a secret that's bound to come out

Look! A Kelly Clarkson video for “People Like Us”  broke out in the middle of Nokia and BMW commercials! Seriously, I know that product placement in music videos is nothing new, but when it is as blatant as it is in this clip or in the new Jennifer Lopez video, it takes me right out of any story that the video is trying to tell.

And in this case, Clarkson is trying to tell a story, though I’m not really sure what it is. In a device straight out of “The Wizard of Oz” or “Pleasantville,” the clip takes place in both black & white and color. At the start, she is a scientist, presumably studying “People Like Us,” people who live in color, like those of us described in the song as “We are all misfits living in a world on fire.” 

[More after the jump...]


Read Full Post